Passion has no age restriction, says Karen Bugingo, a very young writer who decided to author her first book in her early twenties. “My Name Is Life,” Karen’s book is not just any book, it is with cause. After a real life experience with cancer at the age of 19, Karen realized how little Rwandans know about cancer and anything related to it. She therefore decided to tell her story in order to “Bring awareness and encouragement to people fighting and those who have their loved ones fighting cancer.”
Here are the answers she gave to some questions concerning her book:
Q. It is incredible what you are doing at a young age and you established that your cause is to educate Rwandans about cancer, yet a big number of Rwandans do not read books. How will you get them to read your book?
K. A. Most people in Rwanda don't read because they can't relate to what they are reading, and most of them develop a sense of being unconcerned. But a book from their fellow Rwandan will attract them. For example, “Left To Tell” is the one book most Rwandans read because everyone can relate to the author and her situation. I know a lot of people who will relate with mine because there is a lot of cancer survivor untold stories.
Q. The name of your book “My name is Life,” implies that it is an English book and many Rwandan adults are French educated. Do you have any translation plan for your book?
K. A. My targeted audience is in the range of 18- 35. People in that category are educated people hence speak foreign languages such as English.
Q. A lot of writers start authoring books in their thirties and forties. What mostly pushed you to do this in your twenties and what can you tell other young writers who want to wait?
For me it came as a burning passion and passion has no age restrictions. So, I decided to go ahead with it. My advice to young people is, it's now because we have to take advantage of the fact that as youth, we are heard louder.
For printing and publishing her book, Karen Bugingo is holding a fundraising party this Saturday, the 7th January, in Inema Arts Center. On the note of supporting our own artists, you are welcome to come join and help raise awareness with Karen Bugingo.